Local, state and federal government documents are the basis of much of everyday life.  Whether you are looking for tax forms, patent applications, court rules for filing a lawsuit, or appellate briefs, government documents will be involved. The Federal and California state governments, to ensure the availability of free access to government documents, started depository library programs and free distribution of government documents to libraries designated as depository libraries in 1813 and 1945, respectively. The LA Law Library is a selective depository of both state and Federal documents.

Depository status has allowed the LA Law Library to obtain and develop an extensive print collection of federal primary materials such as the U. S. Code (1925 - current), the U. S. Statutes at Large (1789 - current), the Code of Federal Regulations (1938 - current), the U. S. Serial Set (1964 - current), Congressional Hearings and Reports and California documents such as California Senate and Assembly Histories and Journals and consumer oriented publications,  as dictated by federal and state laws governing the depository programs. For more information, please visit:

All depository and non-depository  Federal , California and local government documents,  selected for addition to the LA Library’s collection,  are searchable in the LA Law Library catalog. Federal  depository documents  not added to the collection are listed elsewhere on the library’s website.  All documents are available to the public for inspection during the library’s normal hours of operation. 

1 - Select Websites for Locating US Federal Government Documents

Searchable information from all branches of the federal government, the catalog of U. S. Government publications, and a directory of all depository libraries (http://catalog.gpo.gov/fdlpdir/FDLPdir.jsp).

A product of the Catalog of U. S. Government Publications that searches multiple U. S. federal government databases and provides direct links to selected resources online.

The official federal government portal to finding information.

U S Courts:
Find a federal court through the Court Locator, search for federal forms by category or numbers, statistical reports, rules and access to Pacer.

Library of Congress:
Gateway to Thomas and Congress.Gov for information on federal legislation , American Memory for historic US documents,  the searchable Guide to Law and the U. S. Copyright Office.

2 - Select Websites for Locating California Government Documents

California State Library:
The State Library’s website provides information on Federal and State Documents and their depository collections and Patent collections.

California Courts:
Access current and archived California court opinions, Court rules, Judicial Council forms, and jury instructions.

California State Government:
Find a California agency and their regulations. To do a quick search for California laws, click here.

California State Legislature:
Searchable database of California bills from 1999-2000 and the current California codes. A searchable database of California bills from 1993-1994 is available at: http://leginfo.legislature.ca.gov/faces/billSearchClient.xhtml.

American Library Association Government Documents Section wiki
This is a specialized American Library Association Government Documents Sectoin wiki, which is an annotated list of California State Agencies.

3 - Select Websites for Locating Municipal Government Documents

Los Angeles City Government:
The City’s official website provides City Council files and access to all City agencies and forms categorized for businesses, consumers and visitors.

Los Angeles County Government:
A guide to finding County agencies, rules and regulations.

4 - Select Websites for Finding General Government Documents and Information

Findlaw for the legal professional lets you research the law or browse through primary materials of U.S. and state governments.

Legal Information Institute:
Cornell Law School’s research website for extensive explanations of the law by subject and access to official documents such as the US Code. CFR and state laws.

American Law Sources On-line:
Guide to freely accessible sources of U. S. and state law online.

Free source for US and state laws.

Nolo Press:
Major publisher of legal how to books provides information on the law by topic or state with links to federal and state law resources. The full text of their publications is available on the LA Law Library website.

Google Scholar:
Select legal documents to search federal and state cases.

Public Library of Law
One of the world’s largest free law libraries including cases, laws, and regulations from the makers of Fastcase.

Last modified on Friday, 24 April 2015 13:06

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The LA Law Library is a selective government depository for both the U.S. Government Printing Office (GPO) and State of California materials.

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